Under Construction: World’s First Concrete-Printing Robot

30 Nov

[ By WebUrbanist in Conceptual & Futuristic & Technology. ]

3d printed concrete wall

A prominent architectural firm has teamed up with an established concrete manufacturer and a university to develop a commercially-viable robotic concrete printer capable of precisely producing complex three-dimensional forms. The group aims to bridge the gap between what can be modeled via 3D rendering software and what can be manufactured in reality.

3d printed form example

(Norman) Foster + Partners are working with Skanska and Loughborough University as well as various industry contractors on this 3D-printing project. Their primary joint goal is reduce the time (from weeks to hours) and increase the options available for the on-site deployment of concrete, creating new possibilities for one of planet’s most ubiquitously-used building materials.

3d printed curved cement

Essentially, a computer-controlled robotic arm lays down layers of concrete, each building on the previous according to a programmed sequence. A highly-controlled extrusion of cement-based mortar, precisely positioned according to computer data and obviating the need for solid material inputs.

3d printing concrete architecture

Currently, a phase two prototype has already been built and the team is working on a newer and more-mobile version able to create high-complexity shapes on building sites.

The results so far are promising: structurally-robust forms that would be difficult if even possible to create via conventional concrete construction techniques of either cast-in-place or precast varieties.

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[ By WebUrbanist in Conceptual & Futuristic & Technology. ]

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